The Works is preparing to open its 500th store tomorrow after a year in which both click and collect and new stores have helped to drive business growth. But it says that weakening sales since January mean its pre-tax profits are likely to come in at the lower end of expectations.
The multichannel value books-to-crafts retailer will open its 500th store tomorrow in Winchester and says online, with a strong performance from click and collect, as well as store openings have both helped to lift revenues by 13.2% over the year to April 28.
Ultimately the retailer, listed Top150 in IRUK Top500 research, sees potential for expanding its store portfolio up to 1,000 outlets in the UK and Ireland, as part of a four pillar strategy that also includes growth in multichannel, same-store sales, and increased profit margins.
Kevin Keaney, chief executive of The Works, said: “Overall, we have had a successful year as we continued to expand our store footprint and online proposition and introduce new customers to The Works. We achieved another record Christmas, solid like-for-like sales growth and further cash margin improvement in the year. Our differentiated proposition, offering a wide range of new products at outstanding value and delivered by our highly engaged colleagues, continues to be well received by our customers.
"Notwithstanding the more uncertain backdrop since January, the business has multiple growth levers and we remain confident in the future prospects for The Works.”
The Works says it had its best Christmas yet, marking eight years of consecutive peak growth, but that like-for-like sales growth had softened since the New Year. Now it expects its pre-tax profits to come in at the lower end of market expectations.
Full-year results will be reported to the stock exchange in July.
The Works was founded in 1981 as Remainders Ltd. In 2008 it was bought by Endless LLP and in 2011 Kevin Keaney was appointed as chief executive. The following year its website was launched.
Image courtesy of The Works